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Frameworks can make a big difference

Market surveys are all well and good, but what matters is how you frame the data. Researchers and analysts are good at crunching numbers but they sometimes don't ask the uncomfortable questions that answer the real business problem. This is where frameworks come in.


Frameworks are the start and the end of real business issues. They put data into a context. Nearly always they drive action. Not surprisingly, consultants love frameworks and researchers should become more familiar with them.


Frameworks are tools. Faced with a business problem there is almost certainly a framework that can help. There are frameworks for long-term strategies. There are frameworks for new product development, for customer satisfaction and loyalty, for pricing, for beating the competition, for improving marketing communications. There are frameworks for improving quality, for segmenting markets, for finding growth opportunities. There are frameworks for every business problem.


When I was a junior researcher, sitting in a workshop led by an experienced hand, the trainer introduced us to SWOT analysis. It was so powerful I was blown over. He told us that there are dozens of frameworks like this that we should become familiar with them. At the time I didn't believe him. But he was right; there are dozens of frameworks. On this website there are around 100 - all of them marketing related. They are brilliant for turning data into action. They enable the diligent market researcher to turn themselves into an insightful consultant.


A word of caution. Like any good idea it’s easy to go bananas with it. Too many frameworks built into a presentation can be confusing. Also, squeezing data findings into a framework which isn’t quite right will not sit comfortably. But get the right framework and it will make a big difference.